Hey Vita Fans! Heleius here, and today I bring you a little chat I had with Starlight Inception’s creator, Gary Gaber. Just to throw a little background your way, before forming Escape Hatch Entertainment, he was with LucasArts where he was the project lead and designer of the Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds series. But we are here to talk about his latest creation for the Vita, Starlight Inception, which will be heading our way on April 22nd! (If you haven’t tried the beta of Starlight Inception I highly recommend you do, it is available as a free download in the US/EU PSN store, and gives you access to the first level. Oh yeah, and it totally rocks!)
Heleius: When Starlight Inception went to KickStarter, the Vita was still a $300 handheld that was struggling to find it’s niche and many industry insiders felt it would fail. What made you chose the Vita as a medium for Starlight Inception?
Garry Gaber: There were (and still are) substantially fewer games available for the Vita than the PS3 and other handhelds, and especially a lack of high quality space combat games. I dreamt of bringing such a game to that medium – how cool would it be to be able to play a space combat game in the tradition of Wing Commander or X-wing vs. TIE in the palm of your hand? It was too compelling to pass up.
Heleius: I have played through the beta version many times and I have to say I love the game. Being a beta release, I have read that the final version will also include ground missions and exploration. Can you walk us through you ground favorite mission?
Garry Gaber: I really love the “Free Rhea” mission – you’re tasked with rendering aid to a group of embattled marines before venturing into the caves of Saturn’s moon, Rhea to locate a vital asset to the conflict. The caves really have a cool ‘Last Starfighter’ or “The Empire Strikes Back” asteroid cave feel to them.
Heleius: What other types of missions are available in the campaign?
Garry Gaber: We made a lot of effort to vary the things you do in missions – you get to do outright attacks, defensive missions, rescue and recon missions and even a salvage mission near one of the moons of Neptune.
Heleius: In terms of story is the game scripted or will the player be making choices that effect the outcome and ending of the campaign?
Gary Gaber: There are two single player modes (in addition to multiplayer modes) – the first is a heavily scripted campaign where you play through the story of World War IV or is it Solar War I? 🙂 That is very story based, with cinematics involving the main pilots and capital ship officers that are the movers and shakers in the conflict. There is also a second, entirely different campaign, with almost no scripting, in which you defend your mothership against incoming marauders in a sort of tower defense gameplay.
Heleius: Approximately how many hours of gameplay are we looking at to complete the solo campaign? (assume it’s a novice)
Garry Gaber: Between the two solo campaigns, our estimate is 30 – 40 hours.
Heleius: Online multiplayer will obviously add many, many more hours to gameplay. What types of matches and how many simultaneous online players will the game support?
Garry Gaber: We’ve pushed the limits of the Vita to allow up to eight players in an online multiplayer game.
Heleius: Does multiplayer support ADHOC for local matches?
Garry Gaber: We don’t support ADHOC at this time – we ran into some issues in test related to ADHOC, and felt it better to release this version of the game, and to look at possibly patching ADHOC in later if there was enough of a call for it.
Heleius: Will Starlight Inception be playable on the Vita TV once the machine reaches the west or plans for a release in Japan?
Garry Gaber: Whether Vita TV is released in our regions is still a question mark. If it is released, theoretically, there should be little we would have to do to support the device.
Heleius: Lastly, what would you say to someone who owns a Vita, but has never played any type of space or flight sim to get them excited about Starlight Inception?
Garry Gaber: If you’re looking for a game that will push the limits of your Vita, that was designed for the Vita from the ground up, and built by a developer that really loves this device, then this is the game to try. 🙂
And there you have it. I can’t wait to get my hands on the final version, and as soon as I do, stay tuned for a review of what I’m sure will be some original, awesome good ol’ fashion space shooter Vita goodness! 🙂
As for me, you know where to direct your questions/comments…